U.S. Open course tougher, and longer, than it looks

A view of the fairway on approach to the seventh hole on the East Course at Merion Golf Club on...

A view of the fairway on approach to the seventh hole on the East Course at Merion Golf Club on April 22, 2013 in Ardmore, Pennsylvania; the site for the 2013 U.S. Open that will be played June 13-16. (Drew Hallowell/Getty Images/AFP)

JON MCCARTHY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:04 PM ET

Don’t count out Merion just yet.

Yes, the fairways are soft and the greens are receptive. Yes, the course measures under 7,000 yards. Yes, there are more storms in the forecast for Thursday’s first round of the U.S. Open.

But the world’s best players have been playing the Philadelphia-area course for a few days and they aren’t talking about how easy it is.

“This is the longest short course I’ve ever played,” said Steve Stricker following a practice round. “Everybody’s told me how short it is and I’ve been wearing out 3-irons and utilities into some of these holes. So it’s fairly long and it’s still going to be very difficult, I think.”


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